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Show small businesses the love this Valentine’s Day

Celebrate the businesses working to keep workers and customers safe.

posted February 11, 2021

With dinner in a delivery box and a movie on demand, this Valentine's Day may look a little different this year. But while you're finding ways to celebrate the holiday, consider showing some love to our local small businesses, from restaurants to retail.  

According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses made up 99.4% of Oregon businesses in 2019, employing 55% of Oregon employees. Small businesses are critical to our economy and local communities.   

We at SAIF have a soft spot in our hearts for businesses that have risen to the challenge to keep employees and customers safe this year. We've been showing our love and appreciation for them on saif.com/stories, where we've profiled policyholders on how they've responded to the pandemic.   

We've heard about adopting curbside pickup, home delivery, and virtual shopping. We've heard about reducing risks and offering new services.

Santiam Brewing 

At Santiam Brewing in Salem, owners gave unlimited masks to their employees - not just for the employees, but for the people they live with, too.  

Co-owner Ian Croxall says, "We saw it as protecting ourselves. We don't want an employee to get COVID. They may share an apartment with other people who may not have access to masks."

Yeasty Beasty 

Without a need for waiters and servers, Monmouth's Yeasty Beasty cross-trained each of their employees and taught everyone how to cook, take orders, bus tables, and do dishes.  

"It gives them skills that give them a sense of empowerment, like they can work anywhere in the restaurant and be OK," says owner Jason Waggoner.  

Basil & Board

Basil & Board's co-owner, Conrad Venti, credited the Salem restaurant's management team for stepping up during the pandemic.   

"We've tried to invest in our team and provide them with as much as possible. When all this was so new, we tried to communicate with them in a way that made them feel heard and safe."    

Fancywork Yarn Shop 

Fancywork Yarn Shop in Bend is offering virtual shopping for customers who want to see the product but want to limit their exposure.  

"We're also hosting events like our Maker's Night and Knitalongs over Zoom and have plans to launch a virtual class series," says owner Elise Jones. "It's so nice to see and talk to customers we hadn't visited with for a while."   

Dirt Mechanics 

Dirt Mechanics, an excavation company out of Bend, Oregon, made sure each employee had their own set of hand tools because sharing tools became too risky.  

"I know what it means to feel that you're appreciated by your boss and place of employment," says owner Paul Lissette. "The safety and well-being of an employee is paramount, so taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously was of utmost importance for the physical and mental well-being of all employees."  

Celebrate small businesses  

These businesses are making it work. And that's the attitude we've seen from businesses all over the state.   

This is what we want to celebrate, and why we're showing small businesses like these a little extra love this Valentine's Day.   

Read more tips and tricks for how businesses are staying in business and working with changing guidelines at saif.com/stories. Visit saif.com/coronavirussafety for additional pandemic resources. 

From saif.com

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